Kinetic Energy

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Jordan Young 2J
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Kinetic Energy

Postby Jordan Young 2J » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:02 pm

Why does the kinetic energy stay the same, in the photoelectric effect, even with a higher intensity of light?

Jacob Puchalski 1G
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Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Kinetic Energy

Postby Jacob Puchalski 1G » Wed Oct 09, 2019 3:25 pm

If you look at electromagnetic radiation as individual photons, a higher intensity basically increases the number of photons - each photon still contains the same amount of energy.

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Re: Kinetic Energy

Postby RoshniVarmaDis1K » Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:06 pm

A higher intensity light means there is an increased number of photons. It does not mean that each photon has more energy. Rather, whenever you increase the light intensity, there are just more photons of the initial energy/wavelength/frequency.

This means that the kinetic energy of each electron emitted remains the same even when light intensity is increased because each photon still has the same amount of energy that is then divided between emitting the electron from the metal surface and the kinetic energy of the electron after it is released. Each photon interacts with only one electron, so intensity does not matter on a per-electron basis.

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